Paleorrota (Paleoroute in English), is a geopark located in the center of the state of the Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. The area exposes geologic formations filled with rocks and fossils which date back to the Late Permian—Triassic periods.
The route is located within a vast area that has Triassic age sediments (Late, Middle and Early) and Late Permian ages and which have varied between 210 and 270 million years ago. The Geopark has several paleontological sites, which belongs to rock formation Santa Maria, Caturrita, Sanga do Cabral, Rio do Rastro and Irati. These sites are renowned for the preservation of fossilized ancient vertebrates, with a diverse fauna. In the southwest of the geopark, fossils date back to the Permian, 270 million years ago.
At the end of the Permian, 95% of the life on Earth disappeared during the event known as Permian–Triassic extinction event. During the epoch that followed, the Early Triassic, many new vertebartes, including dinosaurs, became the dominant land animals, and many such early dinosaurs have been preserved in the sediments of Paleorrota.
- Staurikosaurus which is one of the oldest saurischians.
- Sacisaurus which may be the oldest ornithischian.
- Pelycosaurs gave rise to cynodonts, which led to mammals. The Geopark has much to contribute to understand the Evolution of mammals.
Vertebrates of PaleorrotaEdit
CAPPA - Research Center for Support of PalaeontologyEdit
CAPPA (Research Center for Support of Palaeontology) or (Centro de Apoio a Pesquisa Paleontológica), in Portuguese. Located near the Monument of Nossa Senhora da Salete, near of highway RS 149, in the city of São João do Polêsine, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
The center will have a museum, research centers, laboratories, auditorium, classroom, place of lodging, restaurant and various services to be offered to visitors, researchers and students who study in the paleontology. It will be a center of support for the search geopark of Paleorrota.
The center will have an approximate area of 2.649m², and is divided into three stages of construction, while the first is already fully built. It is a work which has the sponsorship of Petrobras and Eletrobras.  
|The Geopark of Paleorrota comprises 21 municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul|
Although Porto Alegre is not located within the area of the Triassic rocks, it has the highest number of paleontologists of Rio Grande do Sul and posesses a large number of museums, institutions and universities :
Santa Maria has been built on large fossil deposits featuring 22 outcrops within the city limits. Several of its museums have dinosaurs on display. In 2006, the University UFSM held the fifth Brazilian Symposium on Vertebrate Paleontology. It was in Santa Maria that Staurikosaurus (amongst many other fossils) was first found.
Within the city limits are the following paleontological sites:
Municipal museums with fossils on display:
|Candelária has also been an area where fossil vertebrates have been discovered. The thecodont Karamuru was collected here in 2000. In the city alone are 17 outcrops.Municipal museum with fossils on display:|
São Pedro do Sul has a large reserve of petrified trees and a museum with dinosaur fossils. The city is located 40 km from Santa Maria. In 1938 the paleontologist Friedrich von Huene collected here the thecodont Prestosuchus chiniquensis.
Municipal museum with fossils on display:
In the city of Mata are large deposits of petrified trees. Municipal museum with fossils on display:
São João do Polêsine is situated approximately 50 kilometers from Santa Maria. Within the city are outcrops with fossils. The CAPPA (Support Center for Research on Palaeontology) is under construction in this city.
In Agudo Sacisaurus was found.
1902 saw the first paleontological searches in Santa Maria, with the collection of fossils organic petrifieds by Dr. Jango Fischer, in the vicinity of the Mount of Alemoa, a region of rocky outcrops between the city and the then district of Camobi. Jango Fischer, in 1902, collected some remains and sent them to Prof. Dr. Hermann von Ihering, then director of the Museum in São Paulo. They were three vertebral bodies almost complete, a piece of vertebra, a finger of four phalanges, and an ungual alone. Von Ihering, in turn, referred the material to Arthur Smith Woodward, eminent paleontologist at the British Museum of London, for study. This resulted in the determination of the first terrestrial reptile fossil in South America, the rhynchosaur baptized by Woodward with the name of Scaphonyx fischeri, the generic name given in reference to the excavation and claw feature, and the specific name in homage to Jango Fischer, the discoverer of the remains.
From then, the international scientific attention focused mostly on Santa Maria, leading to a series of scientific expeditions. One expedition was conducted by German Friedrich von Huene, in 1928-29, and several expeditions were organized by Llewellyn Ivor Price, of the Bureau of Paleontology of the National Department of Mineral Production of Rio de Janeiro, between the 1930s and 1950s, mainly in paleontological sites near the cities of São Pedro do Sul, Santa Maria and Candelaria. Many fossils collected by Friedrich von Huene are now at the University of Tübingen, Germany.
Many of the fossils collected there should be devoted to work and without major financial resources held by Priest Daniel Cargnin and Priest Abraham Cargnin, which enriched the collections of several museums, like the Museum Vincente Pallotti. In tribute to the recently deceased Priest Daniel Cargnin, several fossils received his name.
From the 1960s, with the creation of the School of Geology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, and then of its Post-Graduate Course in the geological mapping of the state received a large increase, and the palaeontological knowledge of the sedimentary rocks found there.
In the 70's and 80’s in the city of São Pedro do Sul, Walter Ilha, an amateur paleontologist, collected fossils in the region. He also collected bibliographies, books and magazines on paleontology. He struggled to build a museum in the city, and in 1987, he died and the museum took the name of Museum Paleontologic and Archaeological Walter Ilha.
Fossils of the regionEdit
The vertebrate fossils are found in the red soil. Depending on the process of fossilization, they will have certain characteristics:
- Without Calcium carbonate, the fossils have a white color and are easily dissolved in water.
- With Calcium carbonate, the fossils have the color of brown rust, and have the form of concrete because of the calcium carbonate. When a fossil is with the ideal amount of calcium carbonate, the fossil is not deformed, and does not dissolve in water. But excess of carbonate will deform the fossil, giving it a swollen appearance. If there is a very large quantity of carbonate, the fossil is like a dusty, and that dissolves in water.
Another important feature is caused by the movement of soil. During the millions of years that the fossils are of the low soil, the slow movement of the soil creates ripples in the fossil, or the fossil can be wavy.
Most of the red soil of the region is covered by soil. Only one percent of the red soil is exposed in creeks, streams, lakes and roads.
|Geological Formation of Geopark|
- The fossils are a cultural heritage of the state.
- The fossils can only be collected by paleontologists or technicians who are working for officially recognized institutions.
- Foreign institutions are only to support an institution's search state.
- A visit to Sites Paleontologics can only be performed with the accompaniment of someone authorized.
- Transport of fossils can only be done with authorization, with guarantee of return.
- The only economic purposes to be carried out are tours with authorized guides.
The legislation completes this in Brazilian Society of Paleontology.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ^ Petrified trees and the forest region.
- ^ São João do Polêsine, in Portuguese.
- ^ CAPPA - Sociedade Brasileira de Paleontologia, in Portuguese.
- ^ V Brazilian Symposium of the Vertebrate
- ^ Stereospondyls
- ^ Cynodont in Santa Cruz do Sul
- ^ Institute of Geociências of UFRGS
- ^ Brazilian Society of Paleontology.
- See here the area of paleorrota
- Dinosaurs of Rio grande do Sul.
- Anfíbios Fósseis do Tríassico do Rio Grande do Sul
- Banco de Dados de Sítios Paleontológicos.
- Tetrápodes Triássicos do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil.
- Mapa Geológico de Agudo
- Sítio uma nova Assembleia Fossilifera do Triássico Médio do sul do Brasil.
- Sítio Linha Várzea - uma nova Assembleia Fossilifera do Triássico Meodo do sul do Brasil.
- Paleontological Tourism at Santa Maria City, Southern Brazil.
- Técnica de Coleta de Fósseis em pelitos laminados.
- Sitios Paleobotânicos do arenito Mata e São Pedro, RS.
- Revisão Osteológica de Massetognathus Pascuali
- A Procolophonoid reptile with temporal fenestration from the Middle Triassic of Brazil.
- Problems in Western Gondwana Geology.
- Diagenetic Pattern of Vertebrate fossils from the traversodontidae Biozone, Santa Maria Formation.
- The Continental Tetrapod-bearing Triassic of South Brazil.
- Early Triassic Postcranial Temnospondyl Remains from Southern Brazil.
- Brasilodon and Brasilitherium, Late Triassic of southern Brazil
- Heterochrony in a fossil Reptile: Rhynchosaur scaphonyx (Late Triassic), Brazil.
- Pareiasaurids from Rio do Rastro Formation (Permian, Brazil)